by: Tom Takihi
Almost every week, we have news about the latest technological gadgets being invented and made available in the market. We usually think of gadgets as something portable and handy and that which can make our work faster and easier. Remember the robot or perhaps, Gadget Boy?
Gadgets for all aspects of our daily life are everywhere and admit or not, they are very useful. The young professionals or yuppies as well as the “techies” (technology buffs) are normally the first people to take advantage of the latest gadgets in town. Let’s see what they have been using so far, particularly the handheld devices.
The mobile or cell phone is, perhaps, consistent for being the most popoular and useful tool for people on the go. With this handheld gadget, people can be reached anywhere they are and you can call home too from any location. Cell phones can do so many things these days – browse the Internet, play video and music, provide directions, take videos and photos and more. Its usefulness is definitely proven. In fact, there have been so many enhancements to this gadget from being just a plain mobile phone used for voice messages to being a camera and video phone with voice recorder to boot to being an FM radio and a mini-laptop. And now comes the world’s first mobile GSM watch phone created by an Australian firm SMS Developments Ltd. It looks like a sports watch but with full voice and SMS capabilities. Pets, too, have their own cell phones now. The PetsCell is a waterproof mobile phone that you can attach to your dog’s collar. Your dog then is assigned his own number so if ever he gets lost, you can call him too.
The Palm Pilot, since its invention ten years ago, has also been among the most used gadgets. The Palm Pilot itself has undergone many changes to being today’s Treo 650 and 700. The Palm company says it has sold more than 34 million devices including 3 million smartphones since 1996. Reports say the Palm products have indeed changed society’s ability to communicate and access knowledge.
For the music buffs, first we had the Walkman that allowed us to listen to the radio and our favorite music in cassette tapes while on the move either walking, jogging or driving or even shopping. Then came the Discman, an improved version that used compact discs. The latest, as we all know, is the very thin and handy iPod. This small device has, in fact, several new models already available in the market. This time, the iPod stores MP3 music straight from computers.
Just last September 12, Apple introduced the 2G iPod nano and an updated 5G iPod. The second-generation iPod nano is said to have more storage capacity and comes in multiple colors.
Where is it going?
But what’s this IDC (a leading company that offers technological media solutions) report confirming a decline in worldwide shipments of handheld devices in early 2006? Based on IDC’s Worldwide Handheld Overview, the worldwide market for handheld devices began 2006 with its 9th consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline, down 22.3% from the same quarter a year ago. This, despite the incorporation of features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, expandable memory and GPS solutions. Manufacturers and vendors, however, continue to look for ways to keep their products saleable by appealing to first-time and core users. A research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Markets team said many people are wondering if this trend will go on and for how long or will a reverse be possible. But one thing’s for sure, he adds, the market will eventually hit a size where the rate of decline will slow to a sustainable level. That size has yet to be determined but will be sustained by the core users of handheld devices as well as the enhancements found on these gadgets.
A book entitled Our Own Devices confirms that users are actually great innovators as they find purposes for devices that their creators never imagined.
Author Edward Tenner said that as technologies advance, demand for new ones go up as well. He pointed out that it’s the interplay between technologies and technique, skills and uses that determine the life of a device in the real world.
So for sure, there’s really no stopping these advancements in technology. As long as there are innovative minds existing in this world, more devices will be invented.
About The Author
Tom Takihi is the owner of the Discover Gadgets portal. To gain more information, please visit http://www.discovergadgets.info.